Hospitals Medical Staff News Strategy

Seven babies stillborn in one night at Zimbabwe hospital as nurses strike

Seven babies were stillborn in one night at a major Zimbabwean hospital this week because their mothers did not get adequate medical care due to a nurses’ strike, doctors said on Wednesday, as a dispute over working conditions cripples hospitals.

Nurses went on strike countrywide last month demanding U.S. dollar salaries, which the government says it cannot afford.

That has left government hospitals with skeleton staff and doctors and senior nurses stretched at a time when the country is grappling with rising COVID-19 cases.

Out of eight pregnant women who underwent caesarean sections on Monday night at Sally Mugabe Hospital, the biggest in the country, only one successfully delivered a baby, three doctors who work in the maternity and paediatric units told Reuters.

“This was preventable. Some ruptured their uterus because nobody was there to monitor them, so when interventions were made it was to save the mother,” one of the doctors said, declining to be identified because they are not allowed to speak to the press.

Another doctor said fresh stillbirths – meaning a baby that dies during labour or delivery – were just a window into the state of Zimbabwe’s public hospitals, which had become “dysfunctional and a death trap to citizens”.

Expecting mothers are spending hours sleeping on benches or the floor in the cold before they are attended to, as smaller clinics which usually absorb some patients are closed due to the strike, piling pressure on major hospitals, doctors said.

The Zimbabwe’s Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the situation in hospitals was “beyond dire”.

“Simply put, unborn children and mothers are dying daily, or suffering from the repercussions of inadequate care,” the organisation said in a statement.

The situation could worsen as an ultimatum for higher pay issued by senior doctors expires on Wednesday without a resolution. The doctors have said they will go on strike.

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Meeta Ramnani
Meeta Ramnani
Meeta develops credible content about various markets based on deep research, opinions from experts and inputs from industry leaders. As the managing editor at Smart Industry News, she assures that every piece of news and article adds to the knowledge of decision makers. An avid bike rider, Meeta, is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, where her specialization was Business Journalism. She carries experience from mainstream print media including The Times Group and Sakal Media Group.
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